Lifeline first step for Hato Petera College

By Talisa Kupenga
  • Auckland

The Hato Petera community is relieved the college's doors will remain open, but it is disappointed the Catholic Diocese of Auckland has ruled it can operate as a day-school only and that no hostel facilities will be available for its students.

The decision to keep Hato Petera's doors open took the students by surprise.

Grandmother Lyn Parekura told Te Kāea, "For the kids I came down and told them that the school is going to remain open, they are really excited about that because a lot of them do want to come back next year, but I'm very disappointed that the bishop has made it a day school only. I'm really brassed off because a lot of these kids come from Tai Tokerau, Te Whanau-a-Apanui, all around and they need the hostel."

The Catholic Diocese of Auckland expressed its disappointment but respected the Minister's decision. Principal John Mathews says this is disappointing news.

“In the past few months, he told the school he fully supported us, so to hear that he was disappointed with the decision really hurt us leaving us to wonder what changed his mind.”

Bishop Dunn says considering all of the information from the consultation process, his concerns about the school's viability remain.

Can the boarding school remain open without the hostels? This was the question raised with Hato Petera Board Chairman Mate Webb.

“That's a good question which I don't have the answer to right now but we are working towards finding an alternative.”

"The kids, although they've stayed positive you can see it's wearing them down," says Ms Parekura

Matthews says the Catholic Church changed the dormitory locks this morning.